Class 2A blog: In brief — Will 2A once again be free of private schools?

Credit: Jason Getz

Reclassification developments could have major impact on 2A; Rabun County drops from top spot

Class 2A may once again be free of private schools next year.

On Monday during a GHSA reclassification committee meeting, GAC Spartans athletic director and football coach Tim Hardy proposed a plan that would leave no private schools in 2A. That follows a July 29 board meeting in which GHSA executive director Robin Hines used 2A as the example when talking about competitive imbalance with private schools in 2020.

Nothing was decided in Monday’s meeting, and it’s possible the reclassification committee meets again before the executive committee meeting Oct. 3-4.

Private schools playing football in 2A are the Pace Academy Knights and Lovett Lions in Region 6, and the Riverside Military Eagles in Region 8.

The Lions and Knights competed in 2A and won championships — Lovett in 2013, Pace in 2015 — before joining 3A in 2016. The two Buckhead powerhouses returned to 6-2A last year, with the Knights rejoining after a successful appeal to the GHSA.

Riverside Military, a boarding school in Gainesville, hasn’t played since 2019 after canceling its 2020 season and 2021 opener. It became a GHSA member school in 2008, and the Eagles won their first and only playoff game in program history in 2018, going 6-6 in 1A Private under coach Nick Garrett, now in his fifth season.

GHSA reclassification is set for the fall.

On the field, Week 1 of Class 2A season is in the books, but already there is a new No. 1 atop the rankings. Despite losing only by single digits on the road to the No. 1 team in 4A, the Rabun County Wildcats slide to No. 2 while the defending state champion Callaway Cavaliers take over the top spot after crossing state lines into Alabama to earn an impressive win over powerhouse Opelika.

Normally, a narrow road loss to a No. 1 team in a larger classification likely wouldn’t be enough to bump a team from the No. 1 spot, but in this case pollsters may have been taking a wait-and-see approach to Callaway given all the playmakers they lost from last year’s championship team.

After the Cavs took care of business, it would appear the perennial contender from Region 5 is poised for another winning season and deep playoff run.

Below are the new rankings, with each team’s ranking from the previous week, and then records, in parenthesis:

1. (3) Callaway (1-0)

2. (1) Rabun County (0-1)

3. (2) Fitzgerald (0-0)

4. (4) Thomasville (1-0)

5. (8) Northeast (1-0)

6. (6) Bleckley County (1-0)

7. (9) Haralson County (1-0)

8. (5) Lovett (0-1)

9. (NR) Dodge County (1-0)

10. (7) Bremen (1-0)

Out: No. 10 Jefferson County

In brief:

  • Here is my coverage of the Westminster-Lovett game.
  • Southwest Patriots coach Joe Dupree has been placed on administrative leave while the school looks into the death of player during the teams’ first summer practice.
  • Blitz has highlights from the Jefferson-Rabun County games.
  • WTVM has highlights from Callaway’s 30-21 win over Opelika.
  • Callaway’s Blake Eubanks’ go-ahead field goal against Opelika with 2 seconds left is a finalist for both Recruit Georgia’s and WTVM’s play of the week.
  • Tim Morse has a game story for the Thomasville Times-Enterprise on Thomasville’s 42-34 win over Brooks County.
  • The Dodge County Indians beat Toombs County 39-0 in coach Ray Hardin’s debut. Hardin is the Indians third coach since 2018.
  • The Heard County Braves won Shane Lasseter’s coaching debut — a 16-12 victory over South Atlanta. It was also South Atlanta coach Michael Woolridge’s debut.
  • Hardin and Lasseter are Laney’s Ronnie Baker and Washington’s Justin Rivers as 2A coaches to win their debut on Friday, according to GHSF Daily.
  • Michael Baron of The Rome News Tribune covered Haralson County’s 43-24 win over Pepperell.
  • Laney, unranked out of Region 4, earned an upset win over Washington-Wilkes, with Wynston Wilcox of The Augusta Chronicle chronicling the win. Washington-Wilkes was a 21-point favorite according to Maxwell’s projections, but Laney won 26-20.
  • Wilcox also covered Jefferson County’s loss to Thomson.
  • WMAZ and WDHN have highlights from Bleckley County’s 21-14 season opening win at West Laurens
  • Dave Whitaker also covered the Royals’ win for The Bleckley Progress.
  • WTVY covered Early County’s 40-0 win over Seminole County.
  • WJCL recently profiled Jeff Davis lineman Nate Lewis. The Yellow Jackets beat Rutland 41-0 in their opener.
  • Despite a historically successful 2020 campaign, the Region 7 champion Fannin County Rebels still get no respect.
  • Here’s an interview from The Friday Night Pressbox Podcast with Fannin County coach Chad Cheatham following the Rebels’ 34-7 win over Union County.
  • Former Washington Bulldogs coach Derrick Avery was named coach of year by the NFL last week. Avery led the Bulldogs to a 7-3 finish and a trip to the playoffs, but stepped down after the 2020 season to be the school’s athletic director on a full-time basis.
  • Therrell coach Broderick Jamison talks about returning home to coach his alma mater with Prep Sports Nation.
  • If you missed it, check out GHSF Daily’s compilation of media takes from around the state.
  • Here is the Georgia High School Football Scoreboard Show rankings for 2A.
  • This week’s GHSF Daily top performances from 2A are Berrien running back Demar Riley (172 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries), Dade County lineman Isaac Pangle (10 tackles, eight for loss), Haralson County end Riley Bell (12 tackles, five pressures, three tackles for loss and a batted down a pass), Northeast quarterback Travion Solomon (10-of-14 passing for 187 yards, 63 yards rushing), Pepperell running back D.J. Rogers (155 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, one touchdown reception), Thomasville running back Malik Harper (166 yards and four touchdowns on 19), Worth County quarterback Chip Cooper (18-of-36 passing for 225 yards and five touchdowns and 148 rushing yards); Earning line of distinction honors is Thomasville’s offensive line of J.J. Jackson, Ayden Aque, Caden Shokat, Hakeem Myrick, Jacob Tyson and Cam Bates, who cleared the way for 318 yards rushing and five touchdowns while allowing only one sack.

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